I use a four corner graphic organizer to help students to decode word problems.
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Sometimes I will read a paragraph from the book (they follow along in their books) and I pause often to emphasize points, rewords complicated sentences, or give an example of what is being discussed. I hope that in modeling how I read through mathematical text, it gives students an idea how they should approach reading the text on their own. Having them answer some questions via homework or a warm-up that is based on the text are good check ins as well.
Is it possible to view videos sharing how we use reading and writing strategies to our math classes. thanks.
I like to copy a page from a mathematics textbook, or off the internet, and have the students annotate for meaning, underlining key ideas, circling unknown words, highlighting important points and writing in the margins beside the example problems. We have a discussion about the content. Then we try to put it (the mathematical concept/idea) into our own words. We do this with word problems too.
I have used graphic organizers that break apart the problem. Students are asked to write down the question that is being asked of them, and then write their answer to the question (leaving a blank spot for the answer). For example-Question: How many dogs were there in all? Answer Frame: There were _____ dogs in all. This, I believe, helps focus the students in understanding what they are ultimately looking for.
The next step would be for children to deconstruct the other parts of the word problem, decipher the "needed" information to solve the problem versus the "not important" information. For example: A word problem about how many birds are in the bird bath altogether. The "needed" information may be the number of blue birds, yellow birds, and red birds. The "not important" information may be that the color of the birds are not important.
Students are then asked to solve using different strategies, check their reasonableness of their answer, and solve it.
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